Recylcing has been part of St Margaret’s community work for many years, beginning with collecting newspapers in the stable at the back of the church in the 1980s. A chain gang of parishioners used to load the papers into a skip lorry manually! Happily things have developed since then. After the church carpark was opened we moved the newspaper recycling to a skip on the carpark opposite the church.
Then, of course, the rest of the world caught up with the church and recycling was suddenly big news. We added glass recycling to our inventory and St Margaret’s became one of the main glass and paper recycling hubs in the area.
A decision by North Norfolk District Council to withdraw their skips from the church in 2014 came as a shock. Instead they now offer collection from the doorstep. This might be more convenient for residents, and it certainly makes more money for the council, but it also threatened a vital funding stream for the church. Happily the church has been able to arrange for a private company to provide the skip and pay for the papers and glass collected, at a higher rate than the council ever paid!
Thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery the carpark has now been resurfaced and a larger hard-standing pad has been put down to keep the recycling tidy and discourage fly tipping. As of February 2015 a new skip has joined the glass and the paper, collecting clothing for the Salvation Army, a further very welcome income stream to help keep the church open for its community.
The church very much hopes that local people from Thorpe Market and the surrounding area will continue to make use of the pioneering recycling facilities at St Margaret’s, Thorpe Market.